FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced the signing of veteran wide receiver J.J. Stokes today. Terms of the signing were not disclosed. The team also waived Chas Gessner and re-signed the rookie wide receiver to the Patriots practice squad.
Stokes, 31, played in six games with the Jacksonville Jaguars this season and caught 13 passes for 116 yards before his release on Nov. 12, 2003. The 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound receiver was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 10th overall selection in the 1995 NFL draft. He played eight seasons with the 49ers, starting 66 of 111 games and recorded 327 receptions for 4,139 yards and 30 touchdowns. He started every game for the 49ers in 2001 and finished second on the team with 54 receptions, including 7 touchdowns. He signed with Jacksonville as a free agent on June 17, 2003.
Gessner, 22, originally signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Brown on May 2, 2003. The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound wide receiver was placed on the Reserve/P.U.P. list on Aug. 26, 2003 after suffering a leg injury prior to 2003 training camp. He was signed to the team on Nov. 13, 2003, but was listed among the team's eight inactive players against the Dallas Cowboys.